Op-Ed: Trump reinstated on Twitter – Now what?

Donal Trump on social media. — © AFP/File Jim WATSON

After a “poll” of users (I saw no such thing) on Twitter, 52% voted for the reinstatement of Trump’s Twitter account.  Elon Musk decided it was the will of the people. So it looks like the Black Hole of Disinformation will open wide again.

This is exactly what a lot of people expected, and loathed. It’s one of the reasons for the mass emigration of Twitter users to Mastodon. The anti-Musk movement is also the will of at least some of the people, to borrow a phrase.

This isn’t 2016 anymore

The upshot of Trump’s reinstatement, however, is less sure. The typical social media infestation of right-wingers and various “interest groups” is in a very different environment.

People are tired of it. The novelty has been replaced by monotony. They’re running out of conspiracies. The outrage of the illiterate doesn’t have any traction at all outside politics.

Advertisers, too, may have other ideas. This move is definitively rewriting Twitter’s market focus. If this is a major demographic shift for Twitter, it’s a shift for their market placement, too. Advertising targets specific markets. This revised Twitter market definitely won’t be more likely to buy a car or a dishwasher.

Can the blatant social media manipulation of 2016 be the same in 2024? Probably not. It’s surprising that Musk has basically opted to let in the manipulators.

Overall, though, there is a similarity in Musk’s moves and Trump’s moves. Like Trump, Musk apparently doesn’t take advice from experts or anyone else. Trump is making a possibly suicidal Presidential run in 2024, against advice.

There’s $44 billion on the line for Musk, and oblivion on the line for Trump if his bid fails. A revenue crash and burn for Musk could be a very costly mistake. A failed run means game over, permanently, for Trump, also at great expense.

This is extremely dangerous ground  for both. Adrenalin junkies may think it’s great, but the net loser here is more likely to be America. Neither of these guys seem to realize “Liberty and justice for all” aren’t just words.


The opinions expressed in this Op-Ed are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Digital Journal or its members.

Op-Ed: Trump reinstated on Twitter – Now what?
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